Those of you that have been regular followers of our blog may recall that we have an insurance requirement that keeps us south of 12 degrees, 30 minutes latitude during the Atlantic hurricane season (1 June – 1 November). With that constraint in mind, we have been operating under the assumption that we would be leaving Grenada to head north sometime around the 1st of November. We did have a last minute need to return to Florida so that our youngest son, Ronan could get what turned out to be routine oral surgery and as a result our departure was delayed for about a week. With Ronan’s successful procedure behind us, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion has been tugging at the dock lines for weeks as we have watched minor routine maintenance issues, proceeding on ‘island time,’ adding a few days here, a week there to our anticipated departure date. Given that my entire professional career revolved around standards for an on time departure measured in minutes rather than days or weeks, you can imagine that my normally jovial, easy going manner is being severely tested as our crew calmly listens to the seemingly never ending “explanations” for the next delay.
Our latest delay is the result of a corrupted data card (the source for the navigational information that is sent to our multiple chart plotters around the boat). When we discovered the failed data card we called the local marine electronics dealer to inquire as to the availability of a replacement card. “Easy, no problem at all mon, we have them in stock, come on down,” was the reply from the happy go lucky, local merchant. This is not going to be an issue at all, I thought. Wrong! After taking a bus to the other side of the island, waiting in line for 45 minutes for a clerk, it was finally my turn. He happily gave me the data card that he had and I unhappily noticed that it was a CF card and not the required MSD card. He was not clear on what the difference was but after I explained that his card format was incompatible with our electronics he looked at me and told me ” this might be a problem mon.” We have tracked down the required part, it is safely in a warehouse in Trinidad, an island 80 nautical miles to our south. All systems are fully engaged at full speed to get the required part to our boat in Grenada. Meanwhile, our crew is content to continue to enjoy our unexpected additional time in our summer home. I am reminded that we truly are on “island time mon.” It is our goal to get north to Marigot Bay, St. Lucia for Christmas. We will keep you all posted on our progress via this blog. In the meantime, the crew of the Pilots’ Discretion wishes you all a Merry Christmas!